My sister picked up knitting before I did. I guess I had toyed with the thought before, but when I saw what she was working on, I just had to try it too, because I am a monkey – see it, do it.
So my very first knitting project was a scarf for my sister. She had just moved to Ohio, where I hear tell it actually gets *cold* in the part of the year known up north as “winter,” and I was still in Texas, where sometimes in January or February the temperature dips into fluffy warm scarf territory for a few seconds.
I bought a set of size 13 needles and a skein of maroon homespun yarn. (I guess I should go ahead and come out now – I’m an Aggie, as are both my siblings. Maroon may or may not become a recurring theme.) My mother got me started, and soon I was stitching away at a very basic fluffy scarf – about 20 or 30 stitches across, until it was the right length.
There was just one little snag. I never made it to the right length.
I got about halfway to the desired length, and then got distracted by some other entertainment, so the project wound up sitting on the ledge of my parents’ (comically useless) fireplace for the better part of a year. I would like to say that at the end of that year, I came home, finished the thing to my original specifications and sent it off to my sister just in time for the Ohio winter. Alas, in reality, I came home to discover a completed scarf sitting on the fireplace. When I asked Mom where the leftover yarn was, she said there wasn’t any, that she had just used up the whole skein.
Now, I should mention here, for reference, that my sister is well under five feet tall.
I picked up the scarf. It was more than five feet long.
I wrapped the scarf once around my neck. It touched the floor.
I told my mother what I had intended for the scarf. She tried very hard not to laugh while informing me that I shouldn’t leave unfinished projects lying around, or they might just finish themselves.
We packed up the scarf, and I wrote the following note to my sister as explanation:
A few days later, I got a somewhat confused and giggly phone call. She couldn’t quite explain it verbally, so she emailed me a picture:
Fortunately, she dreamed up a particularly utilitarian solution to our little length problem:
So my mom got a little bit of clutter out of her life, my sister got a spiffy new scarf and a really nifty pattern idea, and I learned yet another valuable lesson: leave no project unfinished, especially in parental living space.